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Darwin Correspondence Project

From Ernst Haeckel1   13 January 1876

Jena

13. Jan 76

Hochverehrter theurer Freund!

Hoffentlich haben Sie das neue Jahr in bester Gesundheit angetreten und arbeiten mit ungeschwächter Kraft an der Aufklärung der grossen biologischen Probleme, welche Sie durch die Reform der Descendenz Theorie und Ihre Begründung der Selections-Theorie der Wissenschaft geschenkt haben. Ich wünsche von Herzen, dass Ihnen Kraft und Lust dazu auch in diesen Jahre beständig bleiben möge!

Meine “Arabischen Korallen” werden Sie inzwischen erhalten haben.2 Ich hoffe dass Sie dem grossen Naturforscher, dem wir die Erklärung der merkwürdigen Korallen-Riffe verdanken, und der zuerst Licht in diese wunderbaren Producte gebracht hat, einige Freude bereiten mögen.3 In dieser Hoffnung bitte ich auch die Widmung der “Monoxenia Darwinii”, als einer der einfachsten und primitivsten Korallen-Formen freundlich aufzunehmen.4

Es wäre mir sehr lieb, wenn Sie mir, hochverehrter Freund, Ihr kritisches Urtheil über die “Arabischen Korallen” zukommen lassen wollten.

Da Sie die Korallen-Bänke genauer studirt haben und besser kennen, als alle anderen Naturforscher, ist mir Ihr Urtheil darüber von ganz besonderem Werthe. Es würde mich sehr freuen, wenn die Darstellung der arabischen Korallenbank auf Taf. III Ihren Beifall finden sollte.5

Mein Aufsatz über die “Gastrula und die Eifurchung” scheint unter den Fachcollegen mehr Beifall zu finden, als meine übrigen Arbeiten.6 Mr. Ray-Lankester hat in der letzten Nummer vom “Quarterly Journal of Mikrosc. Science” einen Auszug in englischer Sprache gegeben.7

Mit den besten Wünschen und den herzlichsten Grüssen bleibe ich auch im neuen Jahre, mein theurer Freund und Meister, | Ihr treu ergebener | Ernst Haeckel.

Footnotes

For a translation of this letter, see Appendix I.
Haeckel’s Arabische Korallen (Arabian corals; Haeckel 1876b) was a profusely illustrated book based on popular lectures with scientific explanations. CD’s copy is in the Darwin Library–Down.
CD had published an explanation of the formation of coral reefs in 1842 (Coral reefs). Coral reefs 2d ed. had been published in 1874 and a German translation was published later in 1876 (Carus trans. 1876a).
For Haeckel’s description and illustration of Monoxenia Darwinii, see Haeckel 1876b, p. 12, and Correspondence vol. 23, p. 439. According to Haeckel, Monoxenia was the earliest genus of Octocorallia (a subclass of Anthozoa (corals and sea anemones)), dating back to the Cambrian period (see Haeckel 1876b, pp. 77–8 and plate VI).
See Haeckel 1876b, plate III, facing p. 20.
Haeckel had sent CD an offprint of ‘Die Gastrula und die Eifurchung der Thiere’ (The gastrula and egg-cleavage of animals; Haeckel 1875a); see Correspondence vol. 23, letter from Ernst Haeckel, 7 November 1875. CD’s lightly annotated copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
Edwin Ray Lankester had summarised Haeckel 1875a in his paper ‘An account of Professor Haeckel’s recent additions to the gastræa-theory’ in the Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science (Lankester 1876a).

Bibliography

Coral reefs 2d ed.: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. By Charles Darwin. Revised edition. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1874.

Coral reefs: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1842.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Translation

From Ernst Haeckel1   13 January 1876

Jena

13. Jan 76

Most honoured, dear friend!

Hopefully you have started the new year in excellent health and are working with undiminished vigour on the elucidation of the great biological problems which you have given to science through your reform of the theory of descent and founding of the theory of selection. It is my heartfelt wish that your energy and your interest in the task may continue steadily also in the coming year!

My “Arabische Korallen” you will have received by now.2 I hope they may delight the great naturalist to whom we owe the explanation of the extraordinary coral reefs, and who for the first time shed light on these marvellous products.3 I beg you also to note that I named “Monoxenia Darwinii” after you, as one of the simplest and most primitive forms among the corals.4

I would appreciate it very much if you, most honoured friend, let me hear your critical views on the “Arabische Korallen”.

Since you have studied coral reefs more closely and know them better than any other naturalist, your judgment in this matter is of special value to me. I would be very pleased if the illustration of the Arabian coral reef on plate III met with your approval.5

My essay on the “Gastrula und die Eifurchung” appears to meet with more acclaim among my colleagues than all my other works.6 Mr Ray-Lankester has provided a summary in English in the latest issue of “Quarterly Journal of Microsc. Science”.7

With the best wishes and my most cordial greetings I remain, my dear friend and master, also in the new year | Yours truly devoted | Ernst Haeckel.

Footnotes

For a transcription of this letter in its original German, see pp. 16–18.
Haeckel’s Arabische Korallen (Arabian corals; Haeckel 1876b) was a profusely illustrated book based on popular lectures with scientific explanations. CD’s copy is in the Darwin Library–Down.
CD had published an explanation of the formation of coral reefs in 1842 (Coral reefs). Coral reefs 2d ed. had been published in 1874 and a German translation was published later in 1876 (Carus trans. 1876a).
For Haeckel’s description and illustration of Monoxenia Darwinii, see Haeckel 1876b, p. 12, and Correspondence vol. 23, p. 439. According to Haeckel, Monoxenia was the earliest genus of Octocorallia (a subclass of Anthozoa (corals and sea anemones)), dating back to the Cambrian period (see Haeckel 1876b, pp. 77–8 and plate VI).
See Haeckel 1876b, plate III, facing p. 20.
Haeckel had sent CD an offprint of ‘Die Gastrula und die Eifurchung der Thiere’ (The gastrula and egg-cleavage of animals; Haeckel 1875a); see Correspondence vol. 23, letter from Ernst Haeckel, 7 November 1875. CD’s lightly annotated copy is in the Darwin Pamphlet Collection–CUL.
Edwin Ray Lankester had summarised Haeckel 1875a in his paper ‘An account of Professor Haeckel’s recent additions to the gastræa-theory’ in the Quarterly Journal of Microscopical Science (Lankester 1876a).

Bibliography

Coral reefs 2d ed.: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. By Charles Darwin. Revised edition. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1874.

Coral reefs: The structure and distribution of coral reefs. Being the first part of the geology of the voyage of the Beagle, under the command of Capt. FitzRoy RN, during the years 1832 to 1836. By Charles Darwin. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1842.

Correspondence: The correspondence of Charles Darwin. Edited by Frederick Burkhardt et al. 27 vols to date. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 1985–.

Summary

Sends copy of Arabische Korallen [1876].

Comments on reception of his paper on "Gastrula" [see 10012].

Letter details

Letter no.
DCP-LETT-10356
From
Ernst Philipp August (Ernst) Haeckel
To
Charles Robert Darwin
Sent from
Jena
Source of text
DAR 166: 66
Physical description
4pp (German)

Please cite as

Darwin Correspondence Project, “Letter no. 10356,” accessed on 10 July 2020, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/letter/DCP-LETT-10356.xml

Also published in The Correspondence of Charles Darwin, vol. 24

letter